hun·​gry | \ˈhəŋ-grē \
hungrier; hungriest

Definition of hungry 

1a : feeling an uneasy or painful sensation from lack of food : feeling hunger

b : characterized by or characteristic of hunger or appetite a wolf with hungry eyes

2a : eager, avid hungry for affection

b : strongly motivated (as by ambition) hungry investors a power-hungry politician

3 : not rich or fertile : barren a hungry soil

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from hungry

hungrily \ ˈhəŋ-​grə-​lē \ adverb
hungriness \ ˈhəŋ-​grē-​nəs \ noun

Examples of hungry in a Sentence

There are millions of hungry people throughout the world. That girl is always hungry. The prisoners' families were hungry for more information. They were hungry to learn more.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

The mystery lies in the fact that big brains are hungry. Cathleen O'grady, Ars Technica, "The evolutionary mystery of gigantic human brains," 23 Aug. 2018 The Dash knows that the Pride will be hungry to avenge its loss from last time. Parth Upadhyaya, Houston Chronicle, "Dash look to break season series tie with Orlando Pride," 11 July 2018 Aledo The Bearcats had a bit of a hiccup last season in the state championship game, but are hungry to get back on top. Brian Gosset, star-telegram, "Best of the best: DFW's Top 10 football teams in 2018," 6 July 2018 The recent success of shows like Big Little Lies, Dietland–also created by Noxon–and Killing Eve prove how hungry audiences are for complex female characters, even ones as tortured as Camille and her kin. Eliana Dockterman, Time, "It’s Hard to Watch Sharp Objects, and Even Harder to Look Away," 28 June 2018 Officials say the truck was air conditioned and the 55 people inside had water, but were hungry. Rebecca Bratek, CBS News, "Man delivers pizza to immigrants found in semi-truck in San Antonio," 14 June 2018 Half the crew & corpsmen & soldiers are sick. Ate double chow for dinner was so hungry. Phoebe Wall Howard, Detroit Free Press, "Service Diary of a Corpsman: Roy L. Wall, LST 509," 28 May 2018 Providing meals for free should make sure that no students are hungry while in school and also speed up cafeteria lines, giving youngsters more time to eat their meals, Lake officials said. Leslie Postal,, "Lake schools to offer free meals to all students next school year," 18 May 2018 Luckily, the cheetahs were not hungry but simply protecting their territory, safari park manager Niels de Wildt told a Dutch radio station. National Geographic, "Family Chased by Cheetahs Highlights Dangers of Wildlife Parks," 11 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hungry.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of hungry

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for hungry

Middle English, from Old English hungrig; akin to Old English hungor

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about hungry

Statistics for hungry

Last Updated

14 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for hungry

The first known use of hungry was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for hungry



English Language Learners Definition of hungry

: suffering because of a lack of food : greatly affected by hunger

: having an uncomfortable feeling in your stomach because you need food : feeling hunger

: feeling a strong desire or need for something or to do something


hun·​gry | \ˈhəŋ-grē \
hungrier; hungriest

Kids Definition of hungry

1 : feeling or showing hunger

2 : having a strong desire She was hungry for power.

Other Words from hungry

hungrily \ -​grə-​lē \ adverb

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on hungry

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hungry

Spanish Central: Translation of hungry

Nglish: Translation of hungry for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hungry for Arabic Speakers

Comments on hungry

What made you want to look up hungry? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to clear from alleged fault or guilt

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!